Farmers in the Hudson Valley are getting a lifeline under President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act, which was just passed by the US House of Representatives.
The provision, known as the Relief For America’s Small Farmers Act, would wipe out some long-standing debt.
What would you like to know
- Almost all farmers who have taken out a loan from the federal Farm Service Agency (FSA) will benefit from debt relief of up to $ 150,000 under the Build Back Better plan.
- Bill has yet to pass the US Senate and receive the President’s signature
- Congressman Maloney expects legislation to be enacted before the December recess
Christopher Pawelski said Spectrum 1 News Tuesday that he and other farmers in the Black Dirt area of Orange County are struggling to repay their government loans.
“I can’t sleep at night,” he said. “I’m serious about it. It is a huge debt that we have.
Pawelski Farms, founded in 1908 by Pawelski’s great-grandfather, has been hit in recent years by hurricanes and more recently by pandemic-related losses.
“You can’t get loans anywhere else,” Pavelski said. “You’re kind of stuck where you are unless you have some kind of boom years streak.”
Change is coming, however. Local farmers helped make it.
Pawelski welcomed several colleagues and U.S. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney to his farm on Tuesday to announce that a farmer debt relief program has been incorporated into the Build Back Better plan.
Almost all farmers receiving a loan through the federal Farm Service Agency (FSA) will receive debt relief of up to $ 150,000, Maloney said, and farmers who are most in pain will be eligible for full relief. much larger debts.
Maloney and Pawelski said the “blow in the arm” would be good for the supply chain and good for the future of small farmers.
Maloney estimates that 1,000 farmers will receive this relief.
“It’s hard for young farmers to get started,” Maloney said of family farms. “It’s part of the idea – to make it work again for a lot of our family farmers. “
“The good thing is that it’s targeted… for small operations,” Pawelski said of the loan cancellation program. “It’s not something you normally see, so it’s incredibly rewarding.”
The bill has yet to pass the US Senate and receive the President’s signature. Maloney virtually guaranteed that the loan cancellation program would be included in the final signed version.
He expects the legislation to be enacted before the December recess.
“This provision will survive in the legislation coming out of the Senate,” Maloney said. “If not, you’ll hear me scream.”